“The Orange Economy holds infinite opportunities for our nation’s young people to develop careers with decent standards of living and consequently to contribute to the country’s economy; we only need investors to see the possibilities,” said Sonalli Andrews, arguably one of Antigua and Barbuda’s leading graphic artists. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.
Andrews, who will soon be pursuing a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) Illustration Degree at the best concept art and illustration school in America, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, wants more scholarships to be made available for young people to attain higher education in the graphic design field, which will in turn push the Orange Economy forward in the nation.
He is particularly calling on the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to invest in a few key individuals, like himself, that can help develop the industry in order to stimulate more needed national income.
According to ConnectAmericas, the Orange economy, also known as the creative economy, is all those sectors where the goods and services are based on intellectual property, also known as creations of the mind.
For example, architecture, visual and performing arts, crafts, film, design, publishing, research and development, games and toys, fashion, music, advertising, software, TV and radio, and videogames.
Graphic design skills, in particular, are applied in the entertainment industry including novels, album covers, comic books, opening and closing credits in filmmaking, advertising, and even data visualization in research.
“Measured in trillions of dollars, if the Orange Economy were a country, it would be the fourth largest economy in the World after the United States, China and Japan; the ninth largest exporter; and the fourth largest labo[u]r force with 144 million workers,” stated the website of ConnectAmericas.
In February of 2022, CARICOM listed the Orange Economy as the, ‘the next frontier for the Caribbean,’ identifying the sector as crucial in the region’s development. CARICOM also sees it as a means to alleviate the chronic unemployment problem of the region and expressed a need to identify micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that can benefit from the development. Andrews believes a way to do this is to develop local players in the burgeoning industry.
Andrews has been trying to encourage the growth of the industry in his own way. He will be hosting his second round of nightly graphic design classes until July 1st at the Public Library with computers that he purchased in order to facilitate a more premium learning atmosphere, nullifying the difficulties of persons not having the necessary software or hardware. He said at the announcement of the classes, “I’m sharing because I’m proud of coming this far. I want to be the teacher I never had, an inspiration and a beacon of opportunities for others.”
He has also hosted many graphic design competitions where the prizes facilitated the winners’ artistic academic journey and has been a teacher for the Government Assisted Technology Endeavour (GATE) for a few years.
He said that it has not been easy being an entrepreneur, especially in a field that has seemingly been neglected. “Growing up and up till now, it feels like school and parents only care if their children become a doctor or lawyer, which was reflected in the Board of Education’s priority list. There are other career fields that are just as crucially necessary and need to be nurtured,” he stressed.
He said that his ultimate goal is to continue to diversify and elevate the Creative Industry in the region, starting with his home, Antigua and Barbuda; but he cannot do it all on his own.
Some of Andrews’ design accomplishments include the VOLUNTARY NATIONAL REPORT 2022 UN cover, illustrating a colouring book called ‘Children of the Soil’ with author Karian Christian, winning a JCI award and National Youth Award for Visual Arts.
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Kaiso young man. Kaiso!!!
Powerful Sonalli Andrews, graphic design artist and teacher! You are manifesting power in getting things done in spite of the many challenges faced because of your career choice. Also, those who know must teach. Plus your entrepreneurial spirit, talent and skill will benefit you greatly and the national economy.
From pre-K to tertiary, our education system MUST prioritize STEM and business curriculum powered by our Caribbean creative Arts.
Our economic growth and social development REQUIRE that transformation. Move in the right direction!
Everybody must know this and never, never forget it:
“God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.”
Sonalli Andrews, success in your intellectual and professional pursuits! Never give up!
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